Are you interested in getting fit and active over the coming year, but also in finding a sport that can become your new hobby? If so, a top exercise to consider taking up is golf. Golf is a sport that’s popular with people of all ages and sexes and provides many benefits beyond simply being active and getting in shape.
For example, become a golfer, and you can improve your mental wellbeing and alertness, and have a fun social outlet at the same time. Plus, golf is an appropriate exercise choice for people of all abilities and levels.
While you can go to a driving range or sign up for nine holes anytime you want, it helps to know some tips to make being a beginner golfer more rewarding.
Know Your Goals
First up, get clear on why you want to start playing golf. What are your goals with this pursuit? For example, you may want to meet new people, connect with your bosses and make helpful networking connections, increase strength or flexibility, or challenge yourself to learn a new skill. You may have one strong reason for taking up the sport or multiple ones.
Once you know your goals, though, you’ll also be able to tell how much time to dedicate to golf to get there, and what kinds of resources you’ll need. There’s quite a difference between looking for some social fun with friends and wanting to be able to hold your own with a talented player, after all, so the way you go about learning golf will differ as a result.
Get Some Instruction
You can pick up some introductory information and tips from blogs, articles, books, videos, etc., and pointers from people you know who play golf, but at the end of the day, it’s best to get some instruction when you’re starting. Make sure you’re learning good habits, not bad ones, and that you progress quickly enough that you don’t give up from feeling too frustrated from few results early on.
Avoid having your significant other be your primary teacher, as this doesn’t bode well for your game or for your relationship. Instead, hire a professional to help you get all the foundations in place. Most golf courses have PGA pros on site who provide their services for a fee and who are trained to teach the game to beginners. You might also want to attend a golf summer camp or some other intensive program in your local area or further afield where you can focus on the sport for a time and make fast progress.
Start with the Basics
We all want to achieve results ASAP and that’s natural, but when you’re starting out as a newbie golfer, pace yourself. There is a whole lot to learn and a huge amount of information out there, which can sometimes lead to confusion and overwhelm. Give yourself the best chance of success by starting with the basics, both when it comes to technique and with regards to equipment.
Learn how to grip the club properly and pick up a sound swing style, for starters. Get attuned with the basics of putting and other short-game fundamentals. Also, take the time to learn all the key golf rules and related etiquette for a course and a driving range. Then, practice with purpose, so you work smarter, not harder. Set a clear purpose for each training session, rather than randomly hitting a few balls.
As for equipment, don’t invest in your own items until you’re sure you like the game enough to continue with it, and you can make consistent, solid contact with the ball when you swing. After that, purchase just a few basic pieces, rather than going all out on top equipment of every type. Choose items that will allow you to develop your beginner’s skills with minimal expense.
Develop Skills before Heading to the Golf Course
It’s wise to start on a practice range rather than on a golf course, too. There’s less pressure on a range as you don’t have people waiting on you to complete a hole, and you can take your time. There will likely be many other beginners at the range, too.
Plus, when you’re starting out and don’t have much control over where the ball goes, it’s safer to practice on a range where you won’t accidentally hit anyone. When you decide it’s time to go to a golf course, start with a good beginner course that’s flat, short, and doesn’t have too many hazards.
Golf is an incredible sport that leaves you with constant room to improve and challenge yourself. As a beginner, though, be kind to yourself and remember that everyone started with little skill – and likely little patience, too!